Welcome to my tour stop! Today I have a review for you all and I hope you find it helpful.
Author: M. A. George
Publication Date: April 16th, 2014
Page Numbers: 299
Purchase: Amazon | Smashwords | Createspace | You Heart Books
Meet Layla McKelland:Novelist (unpublished, but cut her some slack…seventeen is a bit early to despair),Slightly neurotic introvert (Alright, let’s be honest…there’s no “slightly” about it),International Woman of Mystery, and…Okay, just scratch the bio.
The only real “mystery” in Layla’s life is why her father has never been on the scene. Or why her mother drags Layla to a new coastal home every year.
Nothing about the latest hometown seems too newsworthy…until a routine day at the beach leaves Layla questioning whether she’s read one too many paranormal fantasy novels. The plot thickens when a random guy claims to know things about her father—a bizarre claim he backs up with an equally impossible stunt. And Layla soon finds herself on the wrong side of a mysterious attempted drowning…on her own kitchen floor.
When all is done, Layla will attest that fact is far stranger than fiction. And nothing in real life is ever as transparent as it seems…Not even water.
Especially not water.
My Rating: ★★★.5
The year? Take your pick.
July 23rd is always moving day.
My Aunt Cora’s footsteps trudge down the final steps of the staircase, the box in her hands meeting the wooden floor with a deliberate thud. “So…What’s your big plan for this time next year, Meredith?” Her voice as it echoes up the stairs to my room is laced with sarcasm; but even from this distance, I can hear the undercurrent of concern.
There’s a pause before my mother responds, and I imagine she’s heaving an exasperated sigh. It’s her favorite response when her sister gets confrontational for no apparent reason. Eventually, she mutters a reply clearly not intended for my eavesdropping ears. And for that precise reason, I abandon the cardboard box I’m packing and tiptoe toward my doorway with piqued curiosity.
“I don’t know, Cora…” This time she definitely blows out a heavy sigh. “I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.”
“Well, what happens when your daughter crosses that bridge ahead of you and disappears on the other side?” I hear Cora’s impatient foot tapping against the planks of wood. “She’ll be eighteen…and no longer under your purview.”
Twenty seconds into the conversation, and Mom’s already on her third sigh. Aunt Cora knows precisely how to push her buttons.
“What could possibly possess you to think that I haven’t been aware of that fact for the past seventeen years?”
“I’m just saying…” Aunt Cora’s voice settles down a notch. “Prepare yourself.”
“I know, I know,” Mom reluctantly agrees. I peer around the doorjamb to catch a glimpse through the staircase railing, as my mother is trying to scrub the worried wrinkles from her forehead. “But how do you prepare yourself for the most terrifying event of your life?”
I scowl as her somber words filter through the air. Why would the fact that I’m finally nearing adulthood make my mom look like she’s about to lose her breakfast? I’m not exactly Hell on Wheels. Sure, I’ve done a few stupid teenage things…but nothing in comparison to your average American kid. She knows I’m not suddenly going to turn into a binge-drinking vandal with the world record for indecent exposure arrests by the time I’m nineteen. Doesn’t she?
My aunt’s voice falls to a murmur, as she gives Mom’s arm a squeeze for emphasis. “You must tell her, Meredith.” Cora’s back rounds to face me, dipping down as she scoops up the cardboard box and marches out to the moving van. My ears strain to pick up her parting comment, “You can’t protect her forever. At some point, you have to teach Layla how to protect herself…and the sooner the better.”
My mother’s head dips forward, sagging low under the weight of a burden I don’t quite understand; but it’s clear from the stoop of her shoulders that she’s on the verge of buckling. I tilt a little further out into the hall, debating whether to rush down and comfort her. Apparently she’s getting a jump start on the whole Empty Nest Syndrome; and maybe I can shoo away the blues with a hug…a quiet reassurance that we still have a whole year before I leave for college. Wherever that happens to be, I definitely plan on staying there for more than three hundred and sixty-five days. No moving boxes, no packing tape. They may have to forcibly evict me from my freshman dorm when I graduate.
As my weight shifts from one floorboard to the next, the wood groans in protest. The low creak seems to snap my mom out of her funk; and she jiggles her head back into the task at hand without even looking my way. She scoops up a box and marches out the door, her long honey blonde waves swaying as she descends the front steps in a hurried clip. That box is practically twice her size and probably weighs half as much as she does; but you’d never know it by the way she heaves it into the back of the moving van. Mom’s never been particularly good at knowing her own limits, at least not in a physical sense (one of the many traits I inherited from my mother). We don’t exactly have a lot of excess meat on our bones; but we’re a lot stronger than we look…and we’ll practically snap our spines to stubbornly prove it. Aunt Cora’s not quite as spindly as her only sister; and it seems a perfectly natural maneuver as she nimbly leaps down from the back of the van and jogs back toward the house to retrieve another box.
Moving Day is always just that: One day, and one day only. The entire house packed up and whisked away to a fresh, new town before the sun has a chance to dip below the horizon. Dawdling isn't allowed.
As I’m reminded of that fact, I scurry back to finish packing boxes. I hate it when Mom and Aunt Cora get antsy and start to pack my things for me. I pick up the pace as Cora’s footsteps bound up the stairwell. She’s sure to be finishing up her own room any minute now, and then she’ll descend upon mine. I start grabbing armfuls of books from the shelves, delicately easing them into the boxes lined up on my bed. (I have a thing about creased covers.) Of course, I’ll have to re-organize my collection yet again. Maybe I’ll take the opportunity to mix it up this time—sorting them by cover color, rather than alphabetically. The thought brings a little smile to my neat-freak face.
I breathe a satisfied sigh as I step back from the bed and dust my palms together, the mattress now sagging under the weight of my treasured library. Mom and Cora can barge in if they want now. I’m not nearly as particular about the contents of my closet. (Okay, so I sort my shirts by color too…but creases in shirts are easily remedied.) Almost on cue, Aunt Cora whisks through the doorway. Her hurried knock announces her presence somewhere around the moment she leaves the door swinging in her wake. She’s already halfway across the room and scooping up one of the boxes from the bed. “If you want to pack the rest of these yourself, Honey Bun, it’s time to light a fire under it.” She darts her brown bobbed head toward the empty boxes still lying in wait in the corner, hiking the book-laden box up with a knee. “We’re moving on to furniture in fifteen minutes.”
- Taken from chapter one.
My ReviewAqua was a phenomenal book. I totally enjoyed reading this. The reason I gave it a 3.5 stars instead of 4 stars is because it dragged with too much detail when it came to Layla's thoughts and feelings, lack of world development for the underwater world and it was a bit slow paced for me. I enjoyed the humorous writing style nonetheless and the characters.
The story begins with Layla preparing for moving day. Moving day is always July 23rd oddly enough. Her mother and aunt makes her pack up and move to another place near the water. Always near the water. She never knew why until her life was in danger. For seventeen years she has lived a lie because her mother and aunt refused to tell her the truth. The truth that she is not normal, but a paranormal being. A water being -- she can turn into water. Layla took it pretty well for a girl learning everything she knew was a lie. I enjoyed her witty remarks towards Tristan and Pyke. What I didn't like about her was her whiny attitude -- it drove me insane when she complained and whine, but it worked for her character only because she never let go, she never gave up.
Tristan was a swoon worthy guy. He was always there for Layla, even staked his life on it. He was a friend, admirer and bodyguard for her. I love the romance between the two of them and how slow he took it by not forgetting who Layla was in regards to the war. He was the perfect guy.
Pyke was the jerk that you secretly like. He had moments where I wished someone killed him, but then he had his redeeming points that I loved. I didn't like what he did to Layla, but in the end he came through. I also had a feeling he had some type of feelings for her especially with how much he messed with her.
Meredith was the kind of mother that kept trying to protect her daughter, but in the end it only hurt her. I feel like she was in denial at some points. However, when she did speak with her daughter she told everything truthfully and did not hold back.
Cora was an awesome aunt and my favorite character of them all. She was snarky, blunt and just hilarious. She didn't sugarcoat anything for anyone, not even her sister in law or niece.
Overall, this was an awesome YA Paranormal read. Despite my rating it was outstanding and highly recommend it to others looking for a different paranormal book to read other than the norms.
M. A. George is part proud mother of two adorable children, part super top secret agent…Oops, probably just lost that job.
Writing is what keeps her up into the wee hours of the night. Fortunately, she has a lot of energy (Read: caffeine is her friend). She has a bit of an obsession with music (It does a fantastic job of tuning out rambunctious children while she attempts to focus).
She sincerely hopes people out there enjoy reading her work as much as she enjoys writing it. And if anyone hears of work for a super top secret agent, she’s now available (Discretion guaranteed…).